A man was injured after his vehicle was struck by a train in the Bellevue area of Davidson County early Monday.
Per a report by WKRN.com, the accident occurred at the train tracks at McCrory Lane and Highway 70. After the train struck the vehicle, it dragged it down the tracks for around one quarter of a mile. The incident was recorded on a surveillance camera and shows that the track lights and warning signals were on as the train approached the intersection, but the vehicle didn’t slow down before crossing.
Residents who live near the train tracks told reporters that the crossing isn’t equipped with physical barriers or arms, which may have been the cause of multiple accidents between cars and trains in recent years.
A report by Fox17 indicated that the accident happened at around 1:30 a.m. and that the driver, who is described as a man in his late 20s, was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to receive treatment.
Tips for Safely Approaching and Crossing Railroad Tracks
Although many railroad crossings in Middle Tennessee are equipped with barriers and crossing arms that prevent drivers from going over the tracks when trains are approaching, some utilize only warning sounds and lights. That can put drivers at serious risk of being struck by trains, especially if they underestimate how fast trains travel and how quickly their vehicles can clear the tracks.
Follow these tips to reduce your risks when driving near or around railroad tracks:
- Never try to beat a train.
Getting stopped by a passing train can add delays to your daily commute, but stopping before you reach the crossing when the warning system activates isn’t just required by law, but it could also save your life. Trying to beat a train not only puts you at risk of being struck by the train itself, but you could also be injured and your vehicle severely damaged by the crossing’s barriers. Be prepared to stop any time you approach railroad tracks.
- Look both ways before crossing, even if there aren’t any active warning signals.
Just as you would before driving through an intersection, it’s important to check both directions of a train track before driving over it. Warning systems aren’t always reliable, and sometimes it can be difficult to see the flashing lights or hear the bells, especially during times of poor visibility.
- Exit your vehicle and move far from the tracks if it becomes disabled.
If your vehicle becomes disabled while you’re on or near train tracks, make sure everyone exits immediately and moves far from the crossing. Then, call 911 and report the incident. It’s important to put plenty of space between you and your vehicle, as debris can be launched with high velocity during train and car impacts, putting you and your passengers at risk.
- Be prepared to stop if you’re driving behind a school bus, commercial bus, or truck.
Some vehicles are required by law to come to a complete stop at railroad crossings, even if the warning system isn’t activated. If you’re driving behind a school bus, commercial bus, or a hazardous materials truck, it’s important to know that it will come to a complete stop as it approaches the tracks.
At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville car accident attorneys know that train accidents involving vehicles are rare, but they do occur consistently every year throughout the country, including in cities in Middle Tennessee. In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation reports that there are nearly 6,000 accidents involving trains and passenger vehicles each year that cause 600 deaths and 2,300 people to suffer injuries. In addition, pedestrians are also at risk when walking on or near train tracks, and hundreds die due to train accidents every year.
As with any driving scenario, being careful and cautious—as well as following the tips above—can help keep you and your loved ones safe when approaching railroad crossings. Unfortunately, not all drivers follow the law or drive cautiously, and that can result in serious accidents. If you or someone you know was hurt in a crash that was caused by a careless driver, we may be able to help you recover compensation. Contact us today at (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online consultation form to get in touch with our legal team.